Karnataka

Railway freight operations keep supply chain intact

Loading and movement of essential commodities, medical supplies and perishables in the Mysuru division of the South Western Railway reached a new high in April ensuing that supply chain of the market was not disrupted due to the virulence of second wave of COVID-19.

This contributed to ensuring stability in the market situation with regard to availability of the essential commodities and other perishables and ensured that there was no scarcity.

The authorities said the seamless operation of freight services by the railways in the face of the severe crisis brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic has been largely responsible for maintaining the supply chains intact.

Not only did it help stabilise the market situation but in the process the division was able to click a higher freight revenue to meet the operational expenditure of running passenger services even with very low occupancy.

The Business Development Unit (BDU) devised in the division to revitalise the freight segment in this critical situation is delivering admirably not only in bridging the deficit in revenue and to further enable ease of doing business, according to Manjunath Kanamadi, senior divisional commercial manager, Mysuru.

He said with sustainable marketing efforts of the BDU the division has achieved a record loading in April 2021. The division loaded 0.703 million tonnes of freight as against 0.094 million tonnes in the corresponding period of last year - an increase of 648% amid the pandemic exerting enormous pressure in safe operations.

Dr. Manjunath said the freight revenue was ₹59.21 crore as against 5.9 crore last year, a growth of 903%. Similarly, the parcel revenue has also witnessed an upward trend with the division grossing revenue ₹0.47 crore for April 2021 in comparison to ₹0.03 crore in April 2020.

The division loaded its traditional commodities like iron-ore, petroleum products, cement, food grains like maize and sugar, etc. from various stations like Nanjangud, Sasalu, Ranibennur, Amravati Colony, Ammasandra Siding, Minerals Enterprises Ltd. siding.

Rahul Agarwal, divisional railway manager, said the railway employees are striving to scale new heights in contribution to the efforts of the government in providing succour to the needy. All necessary measures were in place for sustaining the pace in freight operations in the coming months, he added.

The BDUs were constituted in April 2020 so as to double the freight loading in the absence of passenger traffic owing to the COVID-19 restrictions and suspension of passenger trains. Similar gains were achieved by the Hubballi division and there was growth in freight revenue from all the major commodities of the division i.e. iron ore, sugar, cement, fertilizers, steel etc.

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Printable version | May 6, 2021 10:02:02 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/railway-freight-operations-keep-supply-chain-intact/article34466506.ece

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